Disclaimer: I neither own nor make a profit from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any other works depicted within that belong to other people. For a full list of what I don't own that appears in this story, check the bottom of this story.
Challenge: 1680 or A different Sort of Halloween Challenge by Weaver
Summary: The origin of Dawn's bad luck with Tuesdays. Or, a look at just what Dawn was up to that infamous Halloween.
Author's Notes: Alright, so I've given in to temptation and written a Halloween story. Several months after Halloween, but whatever... Anyway, this story can be read on its own, however it's also the... I guess it would be considered a prequel to a series I'm writing about the adventures of Dawn Summers and Cassie Newton which may or may not ever be written.
Tuesdays... Or How It All Began
Dawn tilted her head in contemplation as she examined the wall of accessories. She studiously ignored the way her sister cooed over that disgusting pink monstrosity masquerading as a dress-what sort of Slayer actually wanted to be a damsel in distress?-thankful that Joyce had actually taken the time to make her costume this year. She'd been planning this costume since July and there was no way that she'd settle for some generic store bought costume. All that she had left to do was to find the perfect items to go with the dress waiting for her back home.
It didn't take long to find a thick chain and a clunky circular pendant that work with what she had back home-although she'd have to get out the hot glue gun to put it all together. Likewise, finding a proper set of black opera gloves took a bit of time, a most were too big. But something was still missing. She almost walked past the wig section. The long black hair was a bit of a cliché, but it would work so well with her costume. Unable to resist, she found one of the more expensive looking wigs, with long, clean looking hair instead of one of those straggly wigs like for witches and hags. It would have to do, she decided.
Cassie smoothed down the skirt of her dress nervously as she glanced about. Something was off, something was going to happen, although she had no idea what was setting off her intuition. Part of her wanted to go hide in her room until the next morning but for some reason that seemed to be an even worse idea and Cassie had no idea why.
She paused, almost letting out a sigh of relief when she saw Janice. She and Janice had been neighbors for as long as she could remember, and had always played together outside of school, although Cassie was a grade ahead of her. Janice was younger, but she had a companion and Cassie had a feeling that it would be safer to travel in a group tonight. Generally Cassie's intuition and occasional vision protected her from the danger of Sunnydale's nightlife, but she'd also found that demons and vampires were less likely to attack a group than a single person.
"Janice!" called out Cassie, running across the street. "Mind if I join you guys?"
"Nah, it's fine," shrugged Janice. "Dawn, this is my neighbor, Cassie Newton. Cass, this is Dawn Summers."
"Hi," said Dawn. "So, Morticia Addams?"
Cassie grinned. "Morticia kicks ass. What about you guys?"
"I'm the Huntswoman-from Little Red Riding Hood," explained Janice. She motioned toward her trousers, shirt, and vest that looked very old fashioned. In combination with the fake axe and the fake bow and arrow, she looked rather convincing. "And Dawn's the wicked witch."
"Hey," protested Dawn, "I'm not just some random wicked witch. I'm the Wicked Witch to end all wicked witches."
Cassie giggled. She took the opportunity to examine Dawn's costume. She wore a black wig with long hair that fell to her hips that contrasted nicely with her silver dress. It almost looked like chain mail armor, thanks to the pattern of the fabric. The dress was short sleeved and princess cut, with a full skirt. The black opera gloves actually looked better with the dress than Cassie would have thought. Although what the large silvery circle pendant with pieces of green opaque plastic was a bit disconcerting. Still, the costume looked very nice.
"How evil we talking about?" asked Janice as the group went to the next house. "Stealing candy from babies and trying to freeze Gotham City evil or overthrow the former ruler in a bloody coup, block out the sun a la Monty Burns evil?"
"The second, of course. And unlike Montgomery Burns, I don't need some stupid machine to block out the sun; I can do so with magic! Mwahahahaha!" Dawn gave up on her evil laugh after a couple seconds. "Was that convincing?"
"I think in needs a bit more psychotic joy."
"Yeah," agreed Cassie. "I give it an eight point five. So, are you naturally evil, or are you possessed or influenced by your giant green pendant."
"Maybe possessed," suggested Dawn. "And I got freed or something. So, do you have a Gomez out there fighting the horde of goodness and light?" She nodded at a little girl dressed as an angel playfully.
"I haven't met him yet, I think. Although I do so love a man who knows how to use a sword. Preferably ones with experience as pirates."
"Pirates are a must," agreed Janice.
"No way. Zorro is way better and he's not going to pillage your town or rape you." Dawn paused. "Sorry. I read too much. Maybe a pirate like a Gilbert and Sullivan type pirate, but the rest are a little too... disturbing for me."
"It's alright," said Cassie. "So, have you lived in Sunnydale long?"
"It's my second year here," said Dawn.
"What was LA like?"
Dawn shrugged. "I only really spent breaks there after I turned five. I used to go to this boarding school over in the U.K.-St. Trinians. It's the school my mother went to." She sighed. "After Mom and Dad got divorced, Mom couldn't afford tuition and had to take me out of it."
The trio was in the midst of a discussion on what it was like at St. Trinians-and Dawn's stories surely had to be exaggerated-when Cassie was hit by a wave of dizziness. This was it. Whatever her intuition had been warning her about, this was it. She had half a second to worry, and then the world went dark.
Azkadellia blinked, wondering just what had happened. The last thing she remembered, she'd been in the Tower with DG and their parents. She'd finally broken free from the Witch. Someone or something had obviously kidnapped her and taken her to this place. But there'd been no travel storm, leaving Azkadellia more than a little stumped.
She glanced around, trying to figure out where she was. She was in a residential area rather similar to some of the more populous towns in the O.Z., although the architecture and road pavement were completely unfamiliar. There were children in costumes running and screaming in terror from groups of marauding humanoid creatures. The creatures almost looked like monsters from her father's stories of the Other Side's folklore, but that couldn't be. Not only was she in the Outer Zone, but those creatures simply didn't exist.
"Hey!" shouted a hunter, holding her axe aloft in preparation to throw it. "Get away from those children!"
"Let me," said Azkadellia. She gathered her magic and let loose a spell, throwing fire at the creatures. It wasn't enough to kill them, but it would hopefully discourage them.
"Children, come here," demanded a soft voice laced with subtle magic.
Azkadellia turned, taking in the slight girl. She was around the same age as the hunter, twelve or so. As such, technically an adult and old enough to marry-although that was generally discouraged until a girl was at least fourteen or fifteen-or enter into an apprenticeship. She was a hedgewitch at the very least, and very well trained. Probably from a line of witches, then.
"I'm Azkadellia Gale," she introduced herself.
"Morticia Frump," said the hedgewitch, gently urging the children to form up around her with magic.
"I'm the Huntswoman," said the hunter. "We need to get these kids off the street before they get themselves killed."
"That house is inhabited," said Morticia, motioning toward a building.
It didn't take Morticia long to lead the group of six children to the house while Azkadellia and the Huntswoman held off any creatures who might have mistaken them for easy pickings. Azkadellia wasn't sure what was going on, but she could figure that out later. Right now there were dozens, perhaps hundreds of defenseless children being attacked by these supernatural beings. It was obvious that her duty was to protect the children first.
"What now, milady?" asked the Huntswoman.
"We need to head to the next street and clear it of children," said Azkadellia.
Morticia inclined her head in acknowledgement. "It's obvious that the children did not agree to partake in this excitement. Let the demons have their fun without the children in the way."
Nearly two hours later, most of the human children and the more helpless non-human children were either safely inside or dead. The streets were inundated with the little creatures, almost all happily trying to kill each other. Azkadellia might have objected, but this wasn't her culture and these weren't her people. If they wanted to go out and battle to the death, it was their business.
The trio meandered through an area of greenery that had been set aside, searching for any children that might have tried to hide. Morticia, Azkadellia was rather sure, would have preferred to be out playing deadly games with the creatures-the hedgewitch was a violent person by nature-but she was at least seemed willing to understand that the children had not consented to this insanity.
"Let me go! Let me go you meanie!" shouted a high pitched female voice.
It took but a moment to find the little girl who had spoken. She was perhaps equivalent to a six year old human girl and had blue skin and blonde hair. She'd been tied to a post balanced over a bundle of stick that a wizard in gray robes was trying to light on fire.
"Huntswoman," ordered Azkadellia, having fallen into the role of leader of their group. "Stay under cover and be prepared to back us up. Morticia free the girl." As Morticia's magic was more passive than her own, it made sense for Azkadellia to be their heavy hitter. "I'll take the wizard."
"You won't get away with this! Papa Smurf will know what you've smurfed, Gargamel!"
With a bit of force, Azkadellia pushed Gargamel away from the blue girl with her magic before stepping out from the cover of the trees. A moment later the wizard was on his feet.
"What are you doing?" demanded Gargamel.
"I won't let you hurt her," explained Azkadellia.
"It's just a smurf," protested Gargamel, as though his argument made sense. "And I'm going to eat her, not hurt her."
"Well we're not letting you eat her!" Azkadellia hit him with a second spell, this one conjuring ropes which tied him up.
"Fine! If that's the way it's going to be," grumbled Gargamel. He began to gather magic, but instead of using it to form a spell as Azkadellia expected, he began to chant. "Tyr, I besiege thee in the name of justice. For thwarting my undertaking may her days be dangerous-"
A wave of dizziness ran through her.
Dawn shook her head, trying to figure out what had happened and where she was. The last thing she remembered...
A moment later it all came back to her. It took but a moment for Dawn to realize that a good portion of Sunnydale had been changed into their Halloween costumes, although how and for what purpose was beyond her. It was a little fuzzy around the edges, but she clearly remembered being Azkadellia. She remembered being possessed by the Witch for fifteen years...she remembered being rescued by her sister. And she remembered this past evening, which suggested that Cassie and Janice would remember as well-if they didn't suppress it with a good old fashioned dose of denial as most Sunnydale residents did.
Dawn breathed a sigh of relief when she caught sight of Janice, Cassie, and the little girl dressed as Smurfette. They were all safe and sound.
She looked over at the boy who'd dressed as Gargamel-and seriously, who dressed as Gargamel? The character was so incredibly lame-and noted that the conjured ropes were still there. For a moment she wondered if the curse he'd been trying to cast had worked. Dawn dismissed that thought with a laugh. Gargamel was too incompetent to manage that. After all, he regularly lost to idiotic blue gnomes that stood as tall as his shin and had a vocabulary that consisted of variations on the "smurf."
Additional Disclaimer: I neither own nor make a profit from The Addams Family, Tin Man, St. Trinians, and The Smurfs.
Author's Notes: For those of you who are curious, Tyr is the Norse god of single combat, heroic glory, victory, and the god associated with Tuesdays.
Why St. Trinians? I thought it would be humorous. And considering Dawn's later tendencies, perhaps appropriate. After the band candy incident, I think we can all agree that Joyce was rather... wild as a teenager. As for why Joyce didn't send Buffy there as well... I guess she just didn't think Buffy was St. Trinian's material, and after the gym fire and divorce, couldn't afford to send her anyway.
For those of you who are curious as to how Dawn ended up as Azkadellia… it was an accident. Dawn had no idea who Azkadellia was. Tin Man wouldn't come out for several years yet. However the spell took the ideas thrown around by the three girls as to what sort of witch Dawn was and chose the closest analogue, just like how Cassie became Morticia Frump rather than Morticia Addams nee Frump.